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Thank you for visiting the

Greater Hartford
Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO)

The American Guild of Organists was founded in 1896 as an educational and service organization and is headquartered in New York City. Under the leadership of the National Council, a network of volunteer officials at the regional, district and local levels directs the activities of the guild. The guild is divided into nine geographical regions; the Greater Hartford Chapter belongs to Region I (New England) and is one of the largest and most active chapters in the region.


Dear Members, 

What a month of organ events in Hartford! 

On October 22nd, three talented finalists competed in the Young Professionals Competition as part of the 25th Annual Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival of Hartford. Each young organist performed a 45min recital at Trinity College, followed by a brief hymn-playing competition in which concert-goers sang along to their beautiful accompaniments. After the performances and a lunch in the cloisters, judges stayed in the chapel for deliberations. Judges this year were Alcée Chriss, Isabelle Demers, and Thomas Murray. The finalists were Bruce Xu, Aletheia Teague, and Theodore Cheng. 


Michelle Horsley, Dean

A couple hours later, the Organ Extravaganza kicked off at The Bushnell, beginning with a pre-concert discussion with Christopher Houlihan, Paul Jacobs, and Maestra Carolyn Kuan. As concert goers entered the building, they were greeted by GH-AGO board member Susan Carroll and chapter administrator Sarah Kennedy, offering them a chance to play our chapter's kit organ (Orgelkids kit). Many attendees, young and old, stopped by to see the tiny version of a pipe organ and to try their hand at pumping the bellows or playing the keys. 


At 4pm, the big Organ Extravaganza concert began in the massive Mortensen Hall, to a crowd of over 600 attendees. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Alex Pattavina, 2019 winner of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival, wowed the crowd with the Saint Saëns organ concerto. Maestra Kuan also invited Pattavina to share a solo organ work for the audience. After intermission, the winners of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival were announced on stage after a brief video about the festival's history. Bruce Xu won first place, Aletheia Teague second, and Theodore Cheng third. The final portion of the concert featured the modern cinematic masterpiece for organ and orchestra: Once Upon a Castle by Michael Daugherty. Paul Jacobs was at the console.


Just one week later, on October 28th, we celebrated a very different kind of organ event in Hartford: PipeScreams! This year it was hosted again at Trinity Episcopal Church on Farmington Ave, which was fully decorated in cobwebs, bats, ghosts, spiders, candles, etc. The concert featured 10 organists of all different ages and backgrounds, performing a variety show of organ works to a crowd of 160+ people from all over the community - including many who may not otherwise ever seek out an organ concert! The audience was filled with children, witches, wizards, ghosts, video game characters, cowboys, animals, Harry Potter students, a banana... 


The organists on this year's PipeScreams were Ezequiel Menendez, Michelle Horsley, Susan Carroll, Jessica Nguyen, Michael Ngyuen, Jay Lindsay, Bill Hively, Caleb Smith, Christopher Houlihan, and Madison Thompson. Ushers included Jim Barry and Angela Salcedo as well as Christopher Houlihan and Bill Hively (when not performing). The Hospitality Committee (Cheryl Wadsworth, Lori Bourrett, and Rosemary Gregory) provided tasty snacks and drinks for attendees of the pre-concert ghost stories, which were led by CT Public's Chion Wolf, who entertained the crowd with jokes and tales around a bonfire while dressed as a Bob Ross painting. Theatrics throughout the show included floating candles and ghosts, a human marionette-turned-organist, the haunting of an organist's spirit, ceiling star projections, and a graveyard rising up on a forklift during a Bach fugue, among other ridiculous things. The whole evening was a celebration of organ music and silliness. 


Just around the corner, we host Johann Vexo (of Notre Dame, Paris) performing at St. Joseph Cathedral in collaboration with Ezequiel Menendez and the combined choirs of St. Patrick-St. Anthony, Chorus Angelicus, and the Cathedral Schola Cantorum on Friday, November 4th at 7:00pm. Don't forget to check our Facebook page for addition pictures and regular announcements!


Michelle Horsley, Dean

Saturday,  October 22nd

Albert Schweitzer Festival 


Young Professionals Competition at

Trinity College Chapel

300 Summit St. Hartford


Organ Extravaganza! 

featuring GRAMMY Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs, 2019 ASFOH First Prize winner Alex Pattavina, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Carolyn Kuan. 

Tickets on sale at www.bushnell.org


Friday, October 28th


Ghost Stories & Snacks

hosted around a bonfire by Chion Wolf of WNPR / CT Public Radio



A raucous, family-friendly Halloween organ concert, featuring varied performances and theatrical bits. Free admission.

Trinity Episcopal Church

120 Sigourney St. Hartford

Friday, November 4th 


Johann Vexo in Concert

The first organ recital of our second Jolidon Organ Recital Series season.

St. Joseph Cathedral

140 Farmington Ave, Hartford

Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, You Tube Channel


Dean: Michelle Horsley


Sub Dean: Christopher Houlihan

Secretary:  Robert Gilbert

Treasurer: Jonathan Reuning-Scherer

Susan Carroll

William Hively


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